Iranian director Behruz Sarv-Alishahi will stage Mexican playwright Hugo Salcedo's "El Viaje de Los Cantores", which roughly translates to "The Crossing" in English, at Tehran's Molavi Hall on Sunday next week.
The play is based on a true story that occurred in 1987 when 19 Mexican men were suffocated while attempting illegal immigration to the U.S.
The play focuses on six of the immigrants who pay $100 each to smugglers to be spirited across the border in a filthy railroad boxcar. The sealed boxcar stops on a sidetrack because of trouble with the train's engine and then tragedy strikes.
Speaking to the Persian service of Honaronline on Tuesday, Sarv-Alishahi said that the idea of staging this play came to his mind when he was studying at the University of Avignon in France.
"Fleeing the homeland and immigration has always been a serious human issue throughout history, and at times, these immigrations have caused catastrophes like drownings in seas and oceans," he stated.
"Since the play is based on a true story and immigration is a serious issue at the present time, I decided to translate and stage it," he added.
"The theme of the play is immigration, which is currently a big issue in the world. Many people are thinking about fleeing their native countries and then they have to think of returning shortly after immigrating," he noted.
According to Sarv-Alishahi, the play has been translated into Persian for the first time and he will be the first Iranian director to stage it.
His cast composed of 13 actors, including Babak Qaderi, Taha Hamedi, Melika Shahab, and Elham Parvizi, has been rehearsing the play in Tehran over the past month in which the city is facing a spike in coronavirus cases.
"Theater is not our hobby; rather it is our job and stricter health protocols are observed at Molavi Hall to prevent the spread of the virus. We have to continue our activities, because coronavirus exists in parallel with our lives," Sarv-Alishahi said.